Fire a setback to Winona’s revitalization efforts

Friday’s fire in downtown Winona is a setback to the city’s revitalization efforts.

The city has been in the process of preserving some of the historic buildings. They’ve also started some beautification projects, and several businesses are replacing their signs and painting the exterior of their buildings.

A member of the Main Street steering committee says the fire will delay their efforts. “You don’t want to see destruction for anyone’s private property, but this is kind of what we call our anchor in downtown.  If you’re looking for retail, this area right here is where you get a lot of foot traffic, there’s a lot of businesses, they have similar hours so from that perspective, it’s a little heartbreaking to be moving forward and get slammed backward again,” said Michelle Alexander, who is also a Winona City Council member.

Alexander says she’s concerned that some businesses might not be able to afford to rebuild.